Watch Dogs

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Watch Dogs

Post by Pedram on Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:36 pm

This game deserves its own thread, day one buy for me.

This time last year, Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs was busy gobsmacking gamers plugged into the E3 2012 conference. The open world action game seemed to come out of nowhere, quite a remarkable feat on Ubisoft’s behalf considering how rare a commodity secrecy is at the biggest video game expo of the year. Watch Dogs left the conference dripping with ribbons, the darling of 2012, unequivocally.

This year, without the luxury of a thrilling reveal trailer, or the excited, vague mutterings around ‘next-gen,’ Ubisoft had to follow up on Watch Dogs’ initial hype with hard evidence of its originality, stylishness, and indeed, ‘next-gen-ness.’

And, deliver it did.

Watch Dogs is something of an anomaly, insofar as it looks and feels next-gen native but is still being released on current generation consoles, part of what will presumably be a short-lived cross-gen era for such ambitious titles. How the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii U will be able to cope with the sheer size of Watch Dogs, I’m not sure - one can only presume that Ubisoft Montreal has learned a few optimization tricks from working with next-generation hardware.

The feat will be an impressive one, because Watch Dogs’ most endearing quality is its scope. If one thing defined next-gen for me at E3 this year, it was the amount of stuff developers can now fit – or at least, are trying to fit - into a game. Linearity is out, open-world is in. Player choice is the quality every developer is striving for. Freedom is underlined, then bolded, then coated in candy sprinkles.

At its behind closed doors E3 demo, Ubisoft was keen to demonstrate how Watch Dogs ticks all these boxes, in a free-roaming slice of gameplay devoid of missions or objectives. While the demo was eyes-on only, it was a joy to watch, so anarchic was the Ubisoft rep’s loitering in the game’s version of Chicago. The sheer amount of options the game appears to present the player knocked me for six.

Before I outline a handful of these, it’s important to note that Watch Dogs’ foundations remain rooted in familiarity. This is a game which draws ideas from other games and wraps those ideas in a new context. Our protagonist’s broad goal in any given district, for example, was to hack into its tech via individual mainframes. Once ‘hacked,’ that district is essentially unlocked, akin to the conquerable maps of Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry. The shtick is new, but ultimately, the objectives are old.

The novelty in Watch Dogs lies, then, in deciding how you will approach these objectives. In the demo we saw, the Ubisoft rep had protagonist Aiden infiltrate a mainframe by distracting a guard by hacking open a loud automatic door, followed by a stealth kill, a couple of bullets to a couple of heads and eventually possession of a security camera, which revealed the codes he needed. While the section would have been rehearsed to the nth, it was a lithe, stylish approach, and reinforced that underlying sense of possibility the game teases.

Once a district is unlocked, Watch Dogs blossoms. The technology-based world is suddenly peppered with pop-up options Aiden can select with his phone, a hotbed of glorious, interactive stuff.  The world appeared to me, while watching this Ubisoft rep essentially play kick-the-can throughout this alternate Chicago, limitless. It asks you: what do you want to do? And then presents you with a crème de la crème of gameplay options plucked from years of worth of Ubisoft Montreal's experimentation in open worlds.

There’s the ‘crime precognition’ option, for example. NPCs can now be scanned to reveal top-line factoids (some of which are darkly humorous, such as ‘religious forums troll’.) The point is to reveal their ‘crime prediction’ meter: the higher the rating on said meter, the more likely they are to be a victim.

So when Aiden spots one woman's high rating, off he goes, tailing her at a safe distance so as to not be spotted, until she is accosted by a furious ex-lover who begins to throttle her. Aiden intervenes, the guy runs away, a chase ensues, a car blows up, and we move, with an air of cool nonchalance, onto something new.

Again, there’s nothing inherently new about this sort of objective, it’s merely ‘tail a guy’ with an interesting narrative wrapper, but it’s just one of many ways in which to spend time in Watch Dogs’ world. Want to steal money or just see how the better half lives? Hack into a wireless access point and infiltrate someone’s webcam. Want to perform stunts in your car? You can, and you’ll be rewarded for it. Want to change the song on the radio? Hack into a local radio station.

Players can even hack into other players’ games in Watch Dogs, a premise that was vaguely outlined (just how many people can hack into your game at one time? At what point will being hacked by your friends become horrendously annoying?) but extremely seductive in theory. You will want to mess with your buddies’ worlds during that critical point in their mission, you sadistic bastard.

There's a morality system at play here, too, one which seems a little more nuanced than the usual binary kind, at least within a narrative context. At one point the Ubi rep hacked into the Wi-fi connection of a random apartment, giving him full access to bank details and pin numbers. We hear a baby cry. "Will you steal from a young family?" poses the rep. While your decisions to these moral quandaries are attached to what sounds like a formulaic Reputation system, there's a sinister edge to them that could yield some truly sadistic results. It will be interesting to see how Ubisoft plays with Aiden's evolution if he does indeed decide to steal from the mouths of babes.

Ultimately, Watch Dogs is a promising example of how a publisher is ushering in the next generation by drawing, expertly, from the last. It’s a game that looks to offer something for everyone, a game that players can bend and twist to suit their own style. It also feels like a coda to Ubisoft's best work of the last ten or so years, handled by a studio that  knows by now what works and what doesn't in an open world. It's big, and it's mightily ambitious. For these reasons, it’s my game of show at E3 2013.
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Getting it but not day 1 because i'm pretty certain the current gen version will be meh and i'm not getting a new console for a while yet.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Firenze on Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:16 pm

I'm disappointed...sort of, still going be a good game, but I saw new footage from last night.

It looks like a reskinned Assassins Creed with cars.
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Bellabong on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:05 pm

Well I've never heard the sandbox genre being described in that way...

Me 1 year ago: Watch Dogs will be the sh!t!
GL: lol no we'll keep fapping to GTAV

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by izzy on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:13 pm

Eh, i'll buy the hype when the game is released and how people react to it.

I'll gladly fap to GTA as it hasn't let me down.
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 pm

Tbh i don't think its going to get anywhere close to GTA.

So yeah i will still keep fapping to GTA, said from the beginning that while Watchdogs looks good its going to be killed by its hype i don't think its anywhere near as good as people think it is.

I see a 8/10 max, i have seen this before game gets hyped beyond the stratosphere which a little different from the norm for 2 straight years before people get to play it.

It will disappoint of that i am sure, a bad game no but it won't be anywhere near as good as people think its going to be.


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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by M99 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:18 pm

Phritz wrote:Well I've never heard the sandbox genre being described in that way...

Me 1 year ago: Watch Dogs will be the sh!t!
GL: lol no we'll keep fapping to GTAV

Why do you always act like a superior being over us console peasants? Everyone and their mothers were comparing Watch Dogs to GTA V after it stole the show at E3 last year and I'm sure both are gonna be great, but judging by history, GTA V gonna be better.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by CBarca on Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:30 pm

GTA V will be better cause it's f*cking GTA V. Bow to the king :bow:

But I'm sure Watch Dogs will be great too, I'll pick up a copy based on what I hear about it after it comes out.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Pedram on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:28 pm

It's not worth spending money to buy the Xbox360 and PS3 version since it's not optimized for the current generation and the main platform is PC. it'll probably have occasional frame rate drops and the textures won't look pretty, so yeah better to not to ruin your experience with a severely limited game.


Last edited by Pedram on Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Firenze on Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:02 am



here's the footage I was talking about, look good, just looks very..Assassin's Creedy.

The multiplayer details sound pretty awesome

Think of it as the invasion system of Dark Souls: you're playing your game, and suddenly you are being hacked. Another player has infiltrated your game and is hacking you from an unknown position. You have to use the Profiler to root him out and kill him or otherwise make him abort the hack. This was shown in the first part.

Alternatively, you can enter other people's games and try to hack their phone. If they spot you, you escape. This was the second part.


Here's the kicker - you're both playing as Aiden Pierce. But since there can be only one Aiden, you as the player are always him. The other player is always displayed as an NPC. But in HIS game, HE is Aiden and you are displayed as an NPC.
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by nichabr on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:36 pm

It is ubisoft so the assassins creed look and feel is probably inherent but it looks and sounds awesome.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by che on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:10 pm

oh yay, more forced multiplayer gimmicks... just waiting for facebook and tablet integration now :facepalm:

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by LeVersacci on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Man I hate that woman
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Pedram on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:00 pm

IGN: Dominic, let’s talk about the upgrade system, first and foremost. From a high level, what is the upgrade system? Where will players access it? What can be upgraded? How extensive is this system?

Guay: Directly through Aiden's smartphone, players are able to access his skill tree, his tech tree. Through it, they can choose to customize how Aiden grows in his abilities. This covers his ability to hack the city, but also his abilities to drive, shoot and combine his various skills on the fly. Players can also even invest into Aiden’s focus ability which allows him to combine hacks with physical action.

As players execute various missions, contracts or activities within the game, they will acquire experience points, level up, and spend points to upgrade these abilities. Certain major feats will also allow them to directly gain some skill points.

IGN: Speaking of XP and points, how does Watch Dogs measure its XP system? Are there any branching paths within the upgrade system, and do you get locked into any specific upgrade paths?

Guay: Aiden's skills grow from performing missions, contracts and relevant activities. Feats of hacking primarily, but also of combat or driving will be recognized. Players can potentially unlock all possible skills if they perform enough of those, so they are never locked out of certain abilities. This said, as players perform some major steps to control the systems of our virtual Chicago, they will have more options.

Aiden starts with many skills and, as he explores the city, he will find new ways of using those skills. He will also be able to find equipment, or craft items, that will allow him to approach challenges in different ways.

IGN: Up until this point, I wondered why there would be a need to hack individuals unless they were relevant to the story. Is accessing the information of random strangers the primary way Aiden gains experience or access to new abilities?

Guay: It is one of many ways Aiden can gain experience. Players can acquire various rewards from hacking into citizens. We've already shown how [players] might find a lead into an interesting event occurring within the city, or car registration information they can trade for car on demand services or even bank account information they can exploit for profit if they choose to do so. Ultimately, I find that just eavesdropping into the city conversations, into citizens’ private lives, is a reason in itself.

IGN: We’ve seen several Ubisoft games tie world exploration with specific tasks (Eagle Points in Assassin’s Creed, Towers in Far Cry 3), but bridging actual ability and access to your world is something a bit different. Are these required hacking elements as simple as climbing a tower or are they more extensive tasks?

Guay: As we researched hacking we realized that it was just as much, if not more, about getting access to physical places and devices than about exploiting software or hardware vulnerabilities. Hooking up physically to a network, entering secured buildings and social engineering are a big part of hacking. And Aiden is very good at those things: he's in the field, he’s street smart.

As Aiden invests into further system hacks, he can also extend his reach within the city. Also, as Aiden infiltrates and hacks into ctOS secured server centers, or as he hooks up into major communication towers or relays, he will be able to extend his reach over the city, be even more aware of the events happening and the information flowing. This is something the player is free to do whenever he feels like it. As Aiden becomes more powerful in controlling the city, he also becomes more powerful and efficient in tackling those various areas or challenges.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by M99 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:11 pm


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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Kaladin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:41 pm


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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by elm_baraja_shaman on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:48 am

Aiden looks like freaking Conte Laughing

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Kaladin on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:52 am

elmystique wrote:Aiden looks like freaking Conte Laughing
Laughing

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Blue Barrett on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:23 am

My consolation for GTA 5.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Blue Barrett on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:42 am


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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Firenze on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:54 am

The game has been pushed back at least 6 months, not releasing until Spring 2014 now. U mad Barrett?
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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Tomwin Lannister on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:59 am

WD would have to be 3 times as good as GTA to trouble it

But, it won't be. And GTA will reign supreme once again. Especially considering rockstar are going to be continually pumping out new content for their online game free of charge.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by Blue Barrett on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:15 am

FFS pushed back 6 months?!

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by M99 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:08 pm



May 27th release date confirmed.

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Re: Watch Dogs

Post by M99 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:46 pm

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/06/how-watch-dogs-wisely-separates-itself-from-gta-5

Looks great :bow:

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